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Vietnam Air allowed to make deposit for A350 aircraft delivery   2009-08-26 - VietNamNet/SGT

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved a proposal by Vietnam Airlines to advance deposits for punctual delivery of the Airbus A350-900 XWB aircraft the national flag air carrier has ordered from the European aircraft manufacturing giant.

 Vietnam Airlines currently operates a fleet of 52 aircraft for flights to some 20 domestic and 23 international destinations.

Document No. 1247/TTg-KTN says the Prime Minister has agreed to Vietnam Airlines to deposit US$200,000 for each of the Airbus A350-900 aircraft the airline will purchase in a move to ensure delivery will take place as expected.

Le Hoang Dung of the public relations department at Vietnam Airlines confirmed with the Daily on Thursday about the approval but declined to reveal the number of airplanes that the airline would deposit for out of the 12 A350 XWBs Vietnam Airlines has ordered.

Vietnam Airlines is expected to receive the first A350 in 2016 under the contract to buy 10 aircraft of this type that its general director Pham Ngoc Minh signed with Airbus in Hanoi less than two years ago.

The A350 planes were part of the contracts that Vietnam Airlines and Vietnam Aircraft Leasing Company clinched with Airbus at the official signing ceremony in Hanoi in December 2007.

Under the US$3.5-billion deals, Airbus will supply ten A321-200s and ten A350-900s to Vietnam Airlines and another ten A321s to Vietnam’s first aircraft leasing firm VALC.

At the Paris Air Show in June this year, Vietnam Airlines also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus for two Airbus A350 XWBs as announced by Airbus in a statement sent to the Daily after the signing ceremony.

The additional Airbus A350 XWBs and the 16 A321s that Vietnam Airlines ordered with Airbus at the international air show in France have a total catalogue price of US$1.9 billion.

According to Minh, Vietnam Airlines has chosen the A350-900 variant of the all-new midsize widebody and the airline believed the A350 XWB would set new standards of efficiency and passenger comfort, especially for intercontinental flights.

The A350 is Airbus’ medium-capacity long-range widebody type able to fly up to 15,400km. Airbus said the A350 XWB would be one of the most fuel-efficient aircraft it had designed to enhance productivity and offer high passenger comfort in its class.

With the A350 XWB, Vietnam Airlines will operate one of the most modern fleets in the region and be in a better place to meet demand on both its Asian and international services.

Vietnam Airlines currently operates a fleet of 52 aircraft for flights to some 20 domestic and 23 international destinations. The airline plans to expand its aircraft fleet to 104 aircraft by 2015 and 150 by 2020.

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